This paper reports on a multi-component evaluation of Australia's Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN). MHPN aims to improve consumer outcomes by fostering a collaborative clinical approach to primary mental health care. MHPN has promoted interdisciplinary communication and networking through activity in three inter-related areas: interdisciplinary workshops supported by education and training materials; fostering ongoing, self-sustained interdisciplinary clinical networks; and a website, web portal (MHPN Online) and a toll-free telephone information line. The evaluation showed that MHPN's workshops were highly successful; almost 1200 workshops were attended by 11,930 individuals from a range of mental health professions. Participants from 81% of these workshops have gone on to join ongoing, interdisciplinary networks of local providers, and MHPN is now supporting these networks in a range of innovative ways to encourage them to become self-sustaining and to improve collaborative care practices.
Keywords: Collaborative care; Interdisciplinary network; Mental health; Primary care.
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